Saturday, January 21, 2012

Guest Post: Brandi of ´Not Your Average Ordinary´

This guest post is quite exciting for me, as Brandi was actually the reason I first started my blog. She was one of my first followers and has been such an inspiration throughout this whole process. On top of that she is the sweetest person ever and such a beautiful woman inside and out. Without further ado, here she is:


I was so flattered when Kaylia asked me to guest post for her. You see, she's one of my favorite sources of inspiration and honesty on the great big blogosphere. I was sipping tea, trying to decide what to write and feeling more unsure of myself than ever. It's been a bit like that lately in my world. When moments like those overwhelm me, I stop what I'm doing and brew a pot of tea. The first cup is reflection, the second poured becomes evaluation, the remaining cups devoted to action. It's one of the best things I do for myself all day, the little ritual.

There’s something wonderful about daily rituals – those little times during the day that remind you to slow down and savor the moment. A pot of tea. A few minutes spent writing in a journal. A walk through the neighborhood or a field full of flowers.

It’s ironic that something that happens every day could be your opportunity to see the world in new ways.

And sometimes the best reminder of how much you need those rituals comes when you’re far away from daily life, when you’re in a completely different place surrounded by new sights and people and are wandering down streets that aren’t yours.

Don’t you think it’s all time we followed Kaylia’s example and take a little vacation from our daily lives to see what we need more of?

You can find more of her wonderful writing here: Not Your Average Ordinary. The beautiful photos are also hers :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Guest post from Deidre of Decoybetty

Here is another guest post from a fabulous blogger; this time it's Deidre from Decoybetty. This blog is one of the funniest, most honest, most inspiring blog around (with the occasional dash of delicious recipes to boot). Check out her beautiful blog at and you'll see why she is one of my all-time favourites.

Guest post:

When Kaylia asked me to write a guest post, I stared at the blank screen and the only things that came to mind is how every post that Kaylia writes, I read along going “Yes! Yes! Yes!”  This girl writes (albeit way more eloquently) what I’m thinking.  But you read her blog, you know how fabulous she is.
She recently wrote about the ‘anonymity’ of travel. I’m addicted to this feeling.  I’m an expat. I was born in America and got my first taste of Australia in the young adult book “Looking for Alibrandi” where a teenager skips school to hang out with a boy which is basically all the things I am not. I’d never skip school and I didn’t really talk to boys until well…to be fair I still don’t really talk to boys.
So in college when I got the opportunity to study abroad in Australia I knew this was my chance to be a little bit of that girl (to be fair I thought she lived in Melbourne the book actually takes place in Sydney, just because I switched continents doesn’t mean I got better at geography).
After college, I was so addicted to the feeling of knowing that no one knew me here that I moved to Australia permanently. No one knew how shy I was, how scared I was, how socially awkward I can be (although some found out more quickly than others).
There are a million reasons as to why people travel and all reasons are totally valid, but the ability to reinvent ourselves while we are faced with challenges that we often don’t face at home, there are some big ones: hello visas! Navigating a new health care system! Or learning how to apply to jobs in a foreign country! Or simply ordering food at a cafĂ© or learning a new public transport system.  It’s these times I think we show our best selves. The ones that problem solve, that ask questions, that learn new things and don’t take any thing for granted.
You can check out some more of expat adventures over at my blog decoybetty.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Guest post: Courtney from Vintch

Hey all, here is a guest post from one of my  favourite bloggers: Courtney from Vintch. I have been reading this lovely lady's blog for over a year and am so honoured to have her doing this guest post for me. You'll see once you read her beautiful writing why she has quickly become a must-read on so many people's lists.

On finding her voice

My mama hates mayonnaise and is not fond of hanging baskets.
My dad has Dallas Cowboys pajama pants and a penchant for ranch dip.

And I am their daughter. I slept one floor above them for 21 years, until the night before my wedding when I crawled into my twin bed and cried, my cheek warm against the cotton sheets, my hands wrapped around the cracked gold posts. I cried not because I was scared or nervous about the wedding, but because I would never again sleep there. Never again hang my feet off the side and onto the carpet. Never talk to my sister in the dark until we both fell asleep mid sentence. It was bittersweet and hard.

For years, I made my chicken casseroles with sour cream. And even though my front porch has hooks for baskets, my begonias sat on the brick steps. When the Cowboys were on, my husband and I were in front of the television, though I was often looking away or sewing. I dipped my chips in Hunter Valley on the living room floor.

I smile like mama, stutter like my dad.

Without knowing it, without deciding it, I’ve found myself liking the same things they like, and vice versa. And somehow, between taking my coffee with two sugars and making peanut butter sandwiches at midnight, I realized I’d lost a bit of myself.

So I made new traditions. I learned to relish my king sized bed, and I tried real tuna salad. I realized I actually don’t really like ranch dip, and I’d much rather be watching E! than a football game.

And it’s okay. After all this time, it’s so beautiful to realize that.

That to challenge their preferences doesn’t weaken them or make them any less special. It also doesn’t make me a bad or rebellious child. In fact, it’s a testament to their parenting that I am comfortable forging my own way through this wild world.

I love my parents to the end of this earth. They are my cornerstone and backbone, and my favorite evenings are the ones spent walking to their house from my own, one hand resting in Robert’s.

But I leave eventually. Once the coffee is gone and the sun is setting, we walk back. To our cottage. Our life together. Our dog in the window.

And today the sun is shining and it’s unseasonably warm and I’m thinking about hanging baskets. And how lovely they would look on the porch. And how pleased mama will be when she stands under them. About reclaiming my voice, saying I love you in a language I never knew until now.